Thursday, July 24, 2014

Five Favorites

Wow, it's been so long since I've participated in Five Favorites that the host has changed!  Hi Heather!  And away we gooooooo....

Sarah and her cute crew.

Sarah is coming to visit!!  We have been blog friends for 6 years now, since finding one another's blogs back in their early days.  I prayed for years for her secondary infertility and was thrilled to watch her finally get pregnant with her third child, and then have her fourth right after that.  God is good!  I can't believe we are finally going to meet face to face, and she can see all the craziness in the Martin house.  I'm already planning the weekend, and it should include lots of sightseeing and running together.   Which leads me to....

Katie and I

The Run for the Little Flowers 5k.  I have run this virtual race (that means anyone can run it anywhere) for the last two years to help out the Little Flowers orphanage in China.  This year, the proceeds from the race are going to be split between the orphanage AND helping Katie's family cover her adoption expenses as they bring home their baby girl from China!  I'm so happy for them, especially since her name is Felicity Grace, and that was the exact name we had picked out if Declan had been a she instead of a he, which brings me to...

Declan.  Oh my gosh, can a mother have a favorite child?  No?  How about just a favorite child du jour?  Oui?  Declan is certainly on a streak then because I mean, just look at him:

He's so sweet and easy and funny, just like...

His big brother (the funny part, not the easy part).  This is a glimpse of what life is like with Alexander.  Here they are at Phil's summer camp dancing to the Chicken Dance, in a circle.  Well, everyone is supposed to be in a circle, not in the middle of the circle, and you can just guess where Xander ended up:

He can't even help himself, he's just feeling the beat!  The boy loves music, kinda like....

Peg + Cat, as in the PBS kid's show.  When I first started watching it (with the kids, it's not like I stay up late watching PBS kids shows...often) I found it very annoying.  But it has totally grown on me.  Peg (a derivitive of the name Margaret, how?what?why?) always has a REALLY BIG PROBLEM on her hands, but is able to solve it through staying calm, using math, and relying on her funny friend Cat.  The background of this show is grid paper.  My accountants heart just expands to the nth degree when I see that.

Just look at those infinity clouds.  So clever.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

So How Are We Going to Afford to Send All These Kids to College?

One of the very first questions people ask me upon finding out about our family size is "But how are you going to afford college?"  Well, first of all, that's a wee bit rude.  Secondly, my oldest is only 11.  Third, we don't believe in only having babies if you can afford to send them to college.  And fourth, which is the answer I give them, is "I don't know".  

The I don't know is very scary when I dwell on it.  I mean, most of our parenthood has been based on faith and trust that we are doing the best we can, and God will fill in the gaps.  So most days I try not  to think of the impending overpriced college tuition (times six!) and I just pray that my kids will find a way to make it work, if that's what they want.  

It does make me feel better to think that my parents had six kids and four of us went to college through work study, scholarships, financial aid, and student loans.  The last two were my oldest brother, who joined the Army in order to get free college education, and my oldest sister, who got her four years at Providence College free because she is a smarty pants.  Somehow we all survived, got the educations we needed to get the jobs we wanted and have been able to pay those debts off.

But do you know how much four years of tuition at Franciscan University of Steubenville cost when I applied in 1997?  $44,000.  Do you know how much it is expected to cost in 7 years, when J-P is old enough to attend? About $200,000.  And when Declan is looking to go to college? $330,000.  Whaaaaat?

Perhaps a swimming scholarship is in his future?

Without financial aid and scholarships, there's no way I want my kids to go into that much debt to pay for college.  It will just set them up for failure.  So I will continue to pray for an answer if college is in their future plans.  Phil and I are very much in favor of our kids learning a trade if possible and making a good living on a job that doesn't require a 4 year degree.  Did you know that an elevator installer makes close to $75,000?  That's WAY more than my Catholic high school teaching husband with two Masters degrees makes.  

Don't get me wrong, just because I think college is overpriced does not mean I think it is unimportant.  It's ignorant to think our children won't need a college degree to get a good job, because for almost every white collar job, a college degree is required. Actually, it's just a very basic requirement...usually employers are looking for a  more advanced degree.  All I know for sure is that we want them to be well educated, no matter what they decide to do.  My mom always told us that we could be bus drivers if we wanted to, as long as we were educated bus drivers.  I would reply that I all I wanted to be was a wife and mother, and she would say the same thing, "you'll be an educated wife and mother". 

 I'm so thankful I had her influence since even though being a stay at home mom of many was my life goal, I was extremely grateful to have my MBA to put to use when my vocation expanded to include full-time working mom of many.  God forbid I didn't have my education to fall back on when we couldn't survive as a one income family anymore.  What if something happens to my husband in the future and he can't work?  You can bet I will praise the Lord that I was able to get through college and my Master's program.  I don't regret the years of study and the piles of debt, it's what I wanted and achieved and found a way to pay back.  I don't understand when people are mad about the debt they incurred.  You chose to do that!  Yes, it's a hardship to start your adult life out being in debt, but at least you have the tools you need to get a job to pay off that debt, right?

Probably not going to happen, but one can hope!

But back to my kids...what does the future hold for them?  What can I do to give them the education they need and want?  I know a family who's mother worked in a university's cafeteria to get free tuition for her kids, and another family whose dad became a janitor for the same reason.  That sounds like a good future plan, and I already have experience from when I cleaned bathrooms at Steubie!  For now, we are hellbent on giving them great Catholic school educations through high school, and then hope to guide them in their decision making process for the future.  We know that Heaven is the ultimate goal, but using their God given talents and working hard while on this Earth are what they are called to do on the path towards eternal life, and I hope we can help them achieve their dreams.

Monday, July 21, 2014

That's What He Said

Can I eat my ice cream yet??

Xander: I don't want to take a nap.
Me: Well, it's nap time.
Xander: But I don't want to take a nap.
Me: I'm not going to tell you again...
Xander: But I told you I don't want to take a nap zero times!

Walking up to receive Holy Communion at Mass...
Xander: (spying the man with an eye patch) Look, it's a pirate!

Me: Xander, it's time to get ready for bed.
Xander: Whatyousay?
Me: Get ready for bed.
Xander: Whatyousay?
Me: It's bedtime.
Xander: Ughhhh, that doesn't even make any sense.

Xander: What you doing?
Me: I'm taking a shower.
Xander: Because you so stinky?

After the waitress brought him some chocolate milk:
Xander: You such a nice lady.

And he still says a lot of words wrong (but oh so cute!)...

Crumpling up the receipt on the way out of the grocery store:
Xander: Look, I scrippled it!

Looking like I caught him red-handed:
Me: What were you doing?
Xander: I was touching your McPuter.

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